Choosing a headstone can be a daunting task when you're grieving the loss of a loved one. It's a permanent memorial in honour of their life, so it's natural to feel a little under pressure when finalising the details. Here are a few considerations to bear in mind that will help you choose a suitable headstone:
Bronze, granite and marble are the most commonly used materials for headstones. When choosing the material for your headstone, you should consider both the maintenance required and the location of your memorial. Bronze is the hardiest of the three materials, but it's also the most expensive. The maintenance required is minimal, and a gentle clean with non-ionic soap at least once a year will keep the headstone looking like new. Granite is a good option in coastal areas, as it's not easily eroded by saltwater or wind. Warm soapy water and a gentle scrub with a soft-bristled brush is all that's required to maintain a granite headstone. Marble is ideal for headstones that will be at least partially covered, as although it's hardwearing, exposure to the elements can cause erosion around the edges over time. Marble is susceptible to mildew, but this can be removed with ammonium hydroxide.
You have a few finishing options to choose from, and the elements the headstone will be exposed to have no real bearing on the finish. Popular finishes include polished, pitched and honed, and you should take the personality of the person the headstone is for and the general surroundings into consideration when choosing the finish. A polished finish ensures the headstone always has a shine to it, while a honed finish is non-reflective and more subtle. A pitched finish creates rustic, uneven edges and can be a good option in a cemetery that has lots of older headstones.
Including an inscription gives you the opportunity to convey your grief, express how you feel about the person you've lost or celebrate their life. You can include any inscription you consider fitting, including part of a poem or a verse from scripture. If you're struggling to come up with the right words, there are a number of common headstone inscriptions for you to choose from, and the funeral director can help you make a decision.
When you're making decisions about the various elements of the headstone, you may find it difficult to visualise how it will look when complete, so ask to see examples of similar finished headstones to ensure you're happy with your choices before finalising your order.Share
31 August 2016
It's incredibly hard to plan a funeral for teenagers. They should have their whole life ahead of them, and even if they have had a terminal diagnosis, often their parents cannot believe that they could actually be gone. When my niece passed away, I worked with her friends to make sure that the funeral worked for them and gave them a chance to grieve as well. It was great to see how much impact my niece had made on the world in such a short time, with her friends and family coming together to pay tribute to the beautiful young woman she had been. This blog has tips for other people planning funerals for teens.